Mammoth Cave National Park generated $48.1 million in economic benefits for the region from tourism in 2019.
According to Public Information Officer Molly Schoer, the national park had about 552,000 visitors who spent money in the region at local businesses. Schoer said the park has created a total of 637 jobs with the $48.1 million spent in surrounding communities.
A news release said the spending had a cumulative benefit of $66.1 million for the local economy.
“These people coming in, they’re spending on things like groceries, hotels, restaurants, retail and gas, all of those are things that people need in order to get to the park and to enjoy their experience,” Schoer said. “We can’t do it all within the park so we really depend on our neighboring communities.”
Sandra Wilson, president of the Caveland Marketing Association Board of Directors, said tourism is historically in the top three industries in Kentucky for revenue generation and that the association has worked to promote Mammoth Cave for more than 25 years.
“We work together to create ways to attract people to the area and Mammoth Cave is like the centerpiece of our area,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the association has an agreement with Mammoth Cave to staff a traveler information center at the national park’s visitor center, where they assist visitors and try to encourage them to extend their stay in the area.
“We each individually promote Mammoth Cave, in our social media as well as through our Mammoth Cave fun social media,” Wilson said. “There’s just a whole lot of ways that we are working together to help be that marketing arm to fill that niche for Mammoth Cave National Park, and, in turn, then it helps us attract people from Mammoth Cave to our entire gateway community area.”